The presents are wrapped, turkey purchased and mince pies made. That means not only that Christmas is almost here, but also that I have survived my first term as an NQT! It’s been a bumpy ride at times but I’m still smiling and have a fantastic report from the head, along with a permanent contract that commences on my return in January.
Looking back to those first few weeks I can see already how much I have developed. My confidence in what I do, my class room and behaviour management, my ability to predict and support the children’s learning, emotional and social needs… And man are there plenty of those in my class! On the whole I dare just about whisper that, actually, it’s perhaps not been as stressful as I had expected. Shhh! Those long, sorrowful nights that occurred far too often during my final placement year have not been repeated and as I have got into the swing of things further and further, planning and thinking on my feet has become increasingly instinctive. I have felt on top of things, in control, and my day-to-day preparation and worries have certainly minimized. Also, quite importantly, I have managed to fight off all of the germs and bugs before they have taken hold! The emotional and behavioural circumstances of the children that I work with, however, are far more challenging than I could ever have imagined and it almost seems as nothing would surprise me now.
I suspect the next term shall be a long, cold, dark and miserable one, without the excitement of Christmas festivities to brighten the dull days. However, I also feel much more established within the school now, with both my class and the other staff in the school. Seeing the children make progress makes all of the hard work worth it! Just before the Easter holidays our year group and the one below shall be putting on an end of term performance. With 140 children I suspect the stress levels may rise around then!
For now, however, it is time for a well earned break! The new displays are up and I spent the first day of the holidays tying up loose ends from last term and preparing for the next. Now it is time to select my clothes from the non-teacher section of the wardrobe, catch up with family and friends, sit around and watch telly and eat so, so much that I have to be rolled back into my classroom on January 6th!